September and October 2017

Car parks. On the face of it, perhaps not the most inspiring of subjects.

This said, there are some pretty smart ones around. Take a look.

And parking? It can be the bane of some people’s lives. Not only is finding a spot sometimes pretty hard these days, but there’s sometimes the question of reverse parallel parking to negotiate. But take heart by looking here: you’re not the only one who struggles at times.

So why the subject of parking? Well, we’re all pretty excited at the chapel by the smart new one that we had created in August. Our fresh looking car park is another addition to making our premises ever more attractive and fit for purpose.

WP_20170829_15_25_25_Pro

Smart eh?

And it’s always worth remembering – and giving thanks for – all those who make a  contribution to our work here. Some are able to contribute financially and others simply come and get involved, making it all the more worth our while putting such improvements as a new car park, in place.

We need support of every kind and one sort is not more important than other; both enable us to be able to fulfill our aim in making The Chapel a place of contemplation, creativity, community and compassion. So here’s thanks to our kindly neighbours; those who rent out the premises; those who attend our community activities; those who worship here; our members near and far; our committed committee (if that’s not too many double m’s and t’s) and our trustees who all add to making our little place what it is – just lovely.

And if you haven’t paid us a visit yet, come and see us for yourselves sometime – you are always welcome.

Meanwhile – happy parking.

HAPPY_ParkingOnly_1_500

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July and August 2017

Sunday July 16th saw the chapel celebrate its 263rd Anniversary Service. Jeff Jones led the celebration and his theme centred on the myth of Icarus; falling and flying.

During part of the service, Jeff read out some short testimonies about the chapel which members of our little community had written. It was a heartening and moving section of the afternoon and one of the messages is reproduced below, serving as a reminder that together, with patience and love, we human beings can in some small way, all help to make the world a better place.

 “I so the admire the small team at the chapel who, through their untiring dedication, perseverance and generosity, have created something very special; not only in spiritual terms for their members and congregation but also in the wider sense of reaching out to the surrounding community and beyond by means of the various activities they organise.   They have had the imagination to envisage the potential of what the Chapel as a body might to be able to achieve and they have the courage to continue exploring its possibilities. The little Chapel for me is a place of welcome, warmth and kindness. It is a place where one’s spiritual Unitarian life is encouraged and nourished.  It is a place where Unitarian values are put into practice.  It is a sacred place.”

It was lovely to see the church so full of life and below are some photographs that capture the essence of all that we are. Come and experience it for yourself sometime soon!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May and June 2017

We have been enjoying many excellent services of late and it is always good to reflect on the fact that we are blessed to have so many talented people who give their time and efforts in making sure that our Sunday mornings are spiritually nourishing. Although we see The Chapel as something broader than a church, we do hold worship at the heart of what we do.

It is remarkable how inclusive Sunday mornings are. Throughout the month, there are ample opportunities for each of us to learn more about the threads of insight that inspire each of us most fully but it is  Sundays that provide us with a chance to celebrate the diversity of these aspects, together as a community. It is mysterious how such diversity can bring us all together.

In a world where religion is sometimes used as a way to create division, religion at its best will always help to bind us to our neighbours. And so it is at The Chapel.

Blessings to all as you explore the website of our lovely little chapel of life.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March and April 2017

As I write, spring seems to be weaving her way into the world.

IMG_0811[2]

I am reminded of the sentiment that our service leader Danielle Wilson talked about the other Sunday morning: that we should always try to take time to dwell on the awe and wonder in the world that surrounds us.

So, as spring springs, take a long, slower look at those daffs; let that Cadbury’s cream egg gently melt in your mouth*and feel the rain upon your face with ever more delight.

As Danielle said, one day, all of us will find brackets enclosing the dates of our existence and the most important element of the two dates that they wrap around is not the numbers themselves but rather the dash that lies between them. For it is this dash which  represents the time we all have, no matter how brief, between the opening and closing of our chapter.

How are you spending your dash?

It may not be possible to live out all, some or even any of our dreams – and that may not be a bad thing. But we can all make a commitment to find as much time as we can during any one day to live as deliberately as we can.

And it might also be possible to  live with as much love reaching out from our hearts as we are humanly capable of. Not easy perhaps, but possible all the same.

Thanks for visiting our site – I hope that your reading was a good use of a tiny, tiny part of your dash and remember to use the rest as wisely as you can.

Looking forward to you popping by again sometime.

*Other brands of chocolate egg are, of course, also available.

IMG_0804[1]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January and February 2017

Welcome to 2017

The ancient Roman god Janus (whose name most scholars believe is the source of the name of our month January) is conventionally thought of as a god of transition.  A single being depicted with two faces, one looking forward and one backward, he is a compelling image of the interconnection between past and future, from one condition to another, from one vision to a new one, but viewed as a single process, perhaps even as a sort of ‘non-duality.’

In a sense then, as we tend to look backwards and forwards at the start of a new year and Janus may be an appropriate symbol for the changes that we are perhaps anticipating across the course of the next phases of our individual and communal lives.

For our little chapel community, we know that some changes are afoot too. Duncan, for example, is stepping into pastures new with his student ministry with our friends over at the congregation at Ditchling and we wish him well with his exciting new endeavour.

We should also remember though that whilst a place of worship can be a place for transformation and change, it can also be a place of stability and security; a place where we can be assured that changes are made at a considered pace, with due regard for the past, the present and the future.

Many things change. People change. Times change. But humanity’s general acknowledgement that there is always room in the heart, mind and soul for that which is eternal and true seems to be a timeless phenomenon, no matter the variety of ways in which this may find expression.

We are all human beings and this makes us spiritual beings and this makes us religious beings* and this is what makes our work at the Chapel so relevant.

So dear human being; Happy New Year to you one and all.

(*You can wrestle with the difference between the two – if you see one – for yourselves).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November and December 2016

Welcome To Winter

The frosts are beginning to bite now and the sense that Christmas is in the air seems to be all- pervading. The Chapel always provides  warm relief from the cold weather and the feeling that Christmas can sometimes become a little too frenetic. Come and find some peace with us!

Services Over Christmas

Our regular twice monthly services take place throughout the winter. Our Christmas Carols and Readings service will be led by Duncan Voice this year and is on Sunday December 18th at 4.00 pm. Come and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the chapel as we sing together and enjoy time afterwards with non-alcoholic punch and mince pies.

Car Park

The Committee are currently investigating ways in which we can up grade our car park. We hope to rejuvenate it as best as we can within our given budget sometime before the summer.

Interfaith Event

Both our Billingshurst and Horsham congregations have close links with the Horsham Interfaith Forum. On Saturday November 26th there is an arts event which celebrates religious diversity and has the life of Tim Firth, a former convener, at its centre; 1pm. Unitarian Church Hall, Worthing Road, RH12 1SL, Horsham.

Yoga

We are pleased to welcome Alison Stoker who leads yoga in the hall weekly. You can find out more about it here and check the calendar for dates and times.

Seasonal greetings to one and all.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August and September 2016

The ‘Sometimes Unseen.’ 

August can seem to be a time when The Chapel steps back for a month and takes things a little slower. Some of the organisers of our activities take a bit of a breather and allow themselves a time to relax and refresh. After all, there are not many places of worship where you’ll find the person preparing worship on a weekday evening after work, leading a workshop on the Saturday, delivering the worship on the Sunday before then finding themselves tending the garden or cleaning the eaves in the following days.

So during August, some of us restrict ourselves to doing a few of the more practical things. And this month, a gentle stroll through the gardens would have found Libby, Vanessa, Marion and Sam at work on the beds, grasses and hedges (we wait until August to do the hedges lest we upset the nesting birds) and Stuart and Duncan fixing the chapel spotlights, cleaning the algae from the walls and hosing down the valley in the roof (Duncan has just retired from the fire brigade and did comment that his first job at the chapel still involved ‘ladders and hoses!’). There are probably countless other hours put in by others whose voluntary work for us is often the ‘sometimes unseen.’

We are grateful to everybody who lends a helping hand to keep the chapel active and in good material order. It takes time, money and most importantly tender loving care – the first two of which we have some of at varying degrees of across the year – the latter of which we have in spades (and forks and hedge clippers).

Refugee Support 

As part of our social action enterprises, Libby and Marion have been supporting with the settlement of the first two refugee families into Horsham district. This involves buying and delivering food and offering practical help where needed. It is coordinated by the Horsham Refugee Support Group and we thank Libby and Marion for their time in representing us out there in the needy community.

Meditation Workshop

Duncan offers some reflections on our recent meditation workshop.

‘On Saturday 30th July we welcomed Richard Bober from The Meditation Fellowship to lead a meditation workshop for us at The Chapel.  Our group of 8 consisted of regulars from our monthly meditation group and some new faces.

Richard said right from the outset that he intended to take things slowly, which is precisely what he did.  Through his gentle guidance we explored the basics of meditation.  A series of short meditations enabled us to consider our posture, to be comfortable and yet aware and open.  We then worked on our breath, considering how each of us can connect and what works best for us as individuals.  We also considered our attitude or approach to meditation and Richard emphasised three important aspects, or skills, namely: non-judgement, patience and acceptance.

The two hour session was punctuated by some walking meditation in the churchyard.  I think one local couple walking back from the high street wondered if the dead had risen when they encountered 8 people slowly walking around different parts of the site.  But all was well.

I found the workshop offered me the opportunity to re-connect and review my own practice, which was very helpful.  And from our conversations afterwards I think others found Richard’s session accessible and benefited in different ways.  I hope we will be able to tempt Richard back in the future to run another workshop.  Some leaflets about The Meditation Fellowship are available in the chapel, and their next retreat is November (Nov 4th 5th 6th) at Salisbury.’

Thank you for organising and reflecting on this event Duncan.

Up Coming

Come the autumn The Chapel will be back in full swing with our mission to offer the community events and activities centred around the themes of creativity, compassion, contemplation and community. Check our calendar and the tabs above for more details and we’ll see you there.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June and July 2016

Anniversary Service

Our Anniversary Service will take place on Sunday July 17th 2016 at 3.00pm and will be led by Rev Sheena Gabriel. Traditionally, our Anniversary Service is a time when we renew acquaintances with those who are unable to visit us regularly and where we mark the ‘birthday’ of our congregation. Friends old and new are welcome to join us both for the service and for tea and cake and conversation afterwards.

Meditation Workshop

On Saturday 30th July we are pleased to offer a mediation workshop.  Arrive at 10.15 am for a 10.30 am start.  The workshop will be led by Richard Bober, from the Unitarian Meditation Fellowship and a member of Golders Green Unitarians.  We will explore a variety of different meditation techniques from walking meditation to the use of music.  The workshop will be suitable for those starting to explore meditation and those who wish to re-connect.  The workshop will be finished by 12.30 am and will be followed by a light lunch and the opportunity for discussion.  To book contact Duncan on 07771 609347 or email dvoice420@gmail.com.  Suggested donation £10.

Premises

Our boundary wall is now being rebuilt. We are able to rescue most of the original bricks and will circumvent the holly tree so as to (hopefully) avoid the problem of roots compromising its integrity again. During the Summer, we will investigate the possibility of improved disability access to the building and take this into consideration when we think about improving the carpark area. Also over the summer, we are to tackle the algae growth which is appearing on many of the external walls and also continue to manage the memorial grounds with an eye on attracting as much wildlife as we can. Volunteer gardeners are always welcome.

Folk Club

Our folk club will take a break through July and August and return in September. We thank all those who attend, both players and listeners. Not only do we have lots of fun but the financial contributions that are made form a healthy part of our monthly income. Thanks to all.

Progressive Christianity Network

The next session for this group will be Thursday July 7th. A period of contemplation will be followed by a discussion around the theme of ‘Salvation.’ Photocopies of the text that we will explore will be available on the evening or the book, Marcus Borg’s ‘Speaking Christian,’ can be purchased here. Participants are encouraged to bring other short texts that might contribute to the discussion.

Other events and activities

There is lots happening at The Chapel. Explore the tabs at the top of the page to find out about our meditation, healing and other activities.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April and May 2016

 

Congratulations

Congratulations to Nick and Tracy who were married at The Chapel on Saturday April 2nd. During the same service, we also named daughter Freya. A great time was had by all and we wish the family best wishes for the future.

T and Ns wedding Dawns birthday 028

Path Completion

In our last posting we reported that our path was well on the way to completion and we are pleased to say that it is now all finished.    We were able to re-use all of the existing Horsham stone and the path is now flatter and safer.

Here we all are after the AGM admiring it.

Chapel 2016 002

AGM

The Annual General Meetings of the Committee and Trustee bodies were held in March. Personnel changes included the resignation of Susie Evershed from her post as Chair of the Trustees. We thank her for the lifelong commitment that she has given to the chapel in her various executive positions on both the committee and trustee body and look forward to her continued active advisory participation on both bodies from her home in new home Cambridgeshire.

We welcome Marion France to the committee. Since becoming a member last year, Marion has been very active in her valued contributions to our work and we very much look forward to her further involvement with us.

New Members  

Vanessa Harris and Sharon Jarret became members in March. Membership is an expression of a formal willingness to become part of our community and to contribute, however able, in the life of The Chapel. We thank them for this expression of commitment and look forward to a long and sustaining relationship with our lovely little spiritual home.

Calendar and e-newsletter

All of our events are posted on our calendar here. Please free to explore all the things that we do and come and pay us a visit in person whenever you can. In addition to this page and the calendar, Marion also produces a paper newsletter that highlights our events and which is distributed by post to all of our friends who are without the internet. If you are making an occasional visit to this page and would like Marion’s newletter emailed to you, then you can contact her at  marion@intuitivetouch.co.uk

See you at The Chapel sometime soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February and March 2016

Welcome to our news page.

Ups and Downs!

Let’s start with the downs! Our lovely brick wall, which must have sat in the rear corner of our plot for many, many  years fell down recently. About a six metre stretch fell foul to the passing of time, the stormy weather and the pressure of the roots of an adjacent holly tree. Repairs to the wall have been on our ‘wish list’ for quite some time but sadly, we were not able initiate them in time. Thankfully, a good stretch of the wall remains intact and Libby is currently exploring the options available to us in rebuilding the length that has fallen, or finding a suitable alternative whilst preserving what’s left.

IMG_2507

On the ‘ups,’ we have started work on re-laying our stone path. The path was in desperate need of attention, being very uneven in places and in need of re-pointing. The work will continue for a few days in February and we are hoping that we can re-use pretty much all of the existing stones. The area around the side-door will be raised slightly so as to create a flat area over the elm tree roots which have, over the years, made that area especially uneven.We are grateful to Duncan Ragabliati for the generous donation which has allowed this work to take place and to Paul Juniper for giving up time and energy to manage this project. Thank you both.

Progressive Christianity Group

The new PCN group was well attended and we were especially pleased to welcome others from denominations other than Unitarian. Participants  discussed some of their experiences of Christianity and what had brought them to a ‘progressive’ faith position. It was agreed that future meetings would focus on some of the ‘language’ of Christianity and how some are interpreting this for contemporary times. The forthcoming meetings are outlined here.  The next meeting is at 8.00 p.m. on Thursday March 3rd.

Healing and Support Circle 

Marion’s and Sarah’s Healing and Support Circle begins on Thursday, February 26th at 7.00 p.m. All are welcome. Find out more here. Don’t forget that Duncan’s Monthly Meditation sessions take place on the 3rd Monday of the month.

FUSE

The Festival of Unitarians in the South East takes place over the weekend of February 19-21st at The Chatswotth Hotel in Worthing.

Folk Club

We enjoyed a lovely relaxed folk session in February with great sets from Greg Harper and Ian Chisholm. Thanks go to them for performing for the benefit of The Chapel and to the floor singers who braved a wet and windy evening to help make it a great session. Photos are courtesy of Anthony Dilley.

The Chapel Youtube 3

Occasionally, we hear music that touches us so deeply that we can but cry. Here is one of Canada’s great songwriters, Tom Wilson performing ‘Beautiful Scars.’ He wrote this after reading a work by writer Miriam Toews and had the opportunity to perform it in her presence. These are wonderful, fragile, moments capturing the power of music to touch our hearts.

Enjoy and be touched.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOPrXQYEL4w

See you at The Chapel again soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment